Shakira Donovan, a final-year psychology student, who had never been overseas until a Singapore trip earlier this year, is currently in New York for a three-month internship provided by the McCusker Centre for Citizenship.
Shakira was selected to work on the Global Poverty Project – an international education and advocacy organisation working towards ending extreme poverty by 2030.
She is undertaking policy liaison with international government organisations and help organise the annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, for which Coldplay’s Chris Martin is the creative director.
On her first day, Shakira volunteered at a Coldplay concert in New York City as part of the Global Citizen campaign to stop cuts to foreign aid. Shakira and fellow interns and volunteers approached concert-goers and asked them to sign a pledge asking their local US Congress Member to commit to investing in international aid.
While practising citizenship is nothing new for Shakira, the scale of this project is very much ‘next level’ for the Canning Vale-based student.
“From a very young age, I’ve been taught that volunteering is one of the most worthwhile and important things you can do. That’s mostly come from my mother, who has worked in the not-for-profit sector for 20 years,” she says.
“But sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start or how to make a positive impact, which is what I love about the McCusker Centre for Citizenship – it makes ‘doing good’ accessible.
“Via the McCusker Centre for Citizenship, I heard about Global Citizen’s Global Poverty Project and saw the opportunity to be involved with an organisation that has an incredible impact on so many big issues through education and advocacy.
“I’m hoping this experience will show me how it’s possible to make a career working in that area.”